The unwritten rules of the Facebook buy/sell group


Because hell hath no fury like an admin scorned.

As a gal of a certain age, cleaning out my closet has become a necessary chore. As a self-confessed hoarder, sometimes it’s really hard to give away that maxi dress I wore once to a wedding two years ago and will definitely find an occasion to wear again. 

This, however, is only half the battle. The second half is working out what to do with all these clothes. Sure I donate most, and even give to friends. But some items are only a few months old! And, AND they were expensive! They were simply bold purchases that someone else can pull off better than I. (Honestly, what is it about lace flares that keep me going back for more?) 

In any case, these pieces deserve a loving home in the wardrobe of a person who actually looks good in boho clothing. And so, I sell them.

While I do love eBay, sometimes the process can be a bit laborious. This is why Facebook trade groups are the bees’ knees. They’re are perfect for that niche item you just want to get rid of quickly, with the ease of Facebook inbox negotiation.

For those unfamiliar with these groups (how’s the rock you’ve been living under?) here’s a quick break down. In short:

Facebook buy/sell groups are set up by normal Facebook users in order to create a community in which members can buy and sell a niche category of item. The groups are governed by rules as to what can and cannot be sold, and then users are free to post their items for other users to buy/bid on. 

But as any Facebook-group veteran would know, there is an unwritten code that accompanies the rules of any group. 

Break that code, and you’re out. 

To help a first timer, I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the most important codes of conduct after being accepted into one of these groups.  

Rules are rules

When you get accepted into a new buy/sell group, it is already a functioning mini-society. And like any functioning society, you need to obey and respect the customs.

The rules of any Facebook selling group are gospel and usually dictate what is/isn’t permitted to be posted. Make sure you give these a thorough read to avoid any awkward conversations with an OG member that knows you aren’t allowed to post Shakuhachi in the HIGH END clothing group. Rookie mistake. 

Know your audience

These groups can have more politics than Parliament House, so let’s start with the basics. If you’re in a vegan-clothing group, maybe don’t try to sell a vintage mink fur coat to the highest bidder. 

An anonymous friend of mine got exiled from a Facebook group for posting make-up from a brand that tests on animals. I have never seen a more heated comment thread. Just make sure you are sensitive to the expectations of the group’s members, posting items you know will get a positive response. 

Know the lingo

The secret language of a Facebook buy/sell group can often confuse a newbie. Don’t be the person that comments on every second post asking what the acronyms mean, because I am here to help. 

F = the commenter is following the post
PM’d = the commenter has sent the poster a private message
WTB = the poster is wanting to buy the item
NIL = the commenter is next in line for the item
BUMP = this person is trying to get their post to the top of the feed
BNWT = brand new with tags

What would you guys do without me?

Keep it PG rated

In these groups sex doesn’t always sell. I’ve seen some pretty risqué pictures from gals just trying to sell a pair culottes. 

Not trying to shame anyone here, I just mean that you should let your clothes do the talking, ensuring they are the focal point of all images uploaded. 

Pics don’t lie

Also, some girls do this thing where they advertise an item as ‘never been worn.’ But c’mon ladies, if you’re selling never-been-worn bikinis, and your post is accompanied by a sultry image of you wearing them, then clearly they have been worn.

Respect the admins

These people are the unsung heroes of our generation. Bless those who volunteer hours of their time to an unregulated forum that has no real policing. It mustn’t be easy to deal with the constant bitching and whining from members. 

Especially those that didn’t know you couldn’t post Shakuhachi and feel really victimised by the negative comments she received. I am obviously still not over it.

There you have it folks. There are some of the unwritten rules behind most Facebook buy/sell groups. As a new phenomenon, these rules are obviously changing, but these should be gospel for any newcomer. Happy selling guys.  

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